The Nintendo 3DS is a line of handheld game console produced by Nintendo. The system was announced in March 2010 and officially unveiled at E3 2010 as the successor to the Nintendo DS. The system features backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS video games. As an eighth-generation console, its primary competitor was Sony's PlayStation Vita.The handheld's most prominent feature is its ability to display stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories, and offers new features such as the StreetPass and SpotPass tag modes, powered by Nintendo Network; augmented reality using its 3D cameras; and Virtual Console, which allows owners to download and play games originally released on older video game systems. It is also pre-loaded with various applications including an online distribution store called Nintendo eShop; a social networking service called Miiverse (shut down in 2017); an Internet Browser; the Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube streaming video services; Nintendo Video; a messaging application called Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); and Mii Maker.
The Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on February 26, 2011, and worldwide beginning in March 2011. Less than six months later on July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a significant price reduction from US$249 to US$169 amid disappointing launch sales.
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